How Wide Should Curtains Be

After deciding on the design and color of the curtains you want, the next thing is to get the measurements of your curtains right. Do this right, and you’ll achieve the theme you desire.

Do it wrong, and your interior decor could be ruined. To make sure you get the curtain measurements right, this article is focused on how wide curtains should be. Here we go.

The width of your curtains can be anywhere between 2 to 3 times the width of your windows. The fullness (the actual width of your curtains) will determine the look you achieve with your curtains.

Using fuller curtains makes windows look grander and your room bigger. Curtains with a shorter width create a more tailored look.

In this article, you’ll learn about how to get your curtains measurements right and how wide your curtains should be for different window sizes. So here we go.

What is the correct width for curtains?

Your curtains have to be wider than your windows to make them look ample and drapery when closed. To measure your windows and choose curtains that are about 2 to 3 times wider than the windows.

Curtains that belong to this width range (2 to 3 times wider than the windows) offer proper fullness in appearance. This same dimension applies to curtains that come in pairs.

While we said the width of your curtains could be anywhere between two to three times wider than your windows, we know that there are some of you that want an exact number.

And we’d recommend using curtains that are 2½ times wider than your windows.

There’s an exception for the above rule about curtain widths, and this comes into play when you intend to hang curtains just to frame your windows. In this situation, use curtains that are about 1½ inches wider than your windows.

Your curtains can also extend past twice or thrice your windows’ width if you have aesthetically pleasing window frames you want to display. We’ve seen curtains that are as wide as 15 inches past the window’s trim.

This type of curtain reveals the windows and could then be tied up for a classy look.

Importance of getting the width of your curtains right

The width of your curtains isn’t just about the aesthetics of your room.

Yes, aesthetics play a large part as curtains with proper widths make your windows look grander, your room bigger, and compliments your interior decoration to create the theme you desire.

However, the width of your curtains is also important for the more practical functions like regulating the amount of light entering a room, providing insulation from heat and cold, protection from dust, as well as providing privacy.

We bet you don’t want to be rudely awakened by a beam of sunlight just because your curtains aren’t wide enough or your neighbors getting a peek of you when working out and giving you judgemental stares.

How wide should curtains be for 72 inch windows?

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If you have a 72 inch window, then you’d need curtains that are at least twice this number. So that means you need 144 inches (72 inch x 2) curtains. It’s recommended that you always round up the width of your curtains to the nearest full number.

So with a 72 inch window, you’ll need curtains that are 150 inches wide for a nice, elegant, and full look.

You can also vary the width of your curtains to achieve different fullness. Below are different widths of curtains for 72 inch windows and the fullness type they create:

Standard fullnessmultiply by 2
Deluxe fullnessmultiply by 2.5
Ultra fullnessmultiply by 3

How wide should curtains be for 60 inch windows?

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For a 60 inch window, the same formula applies as you’d need curtains that are at least twice wider than your curtains. And that means you’d need 120 inches (60 inch x 2) curtains.

Since this number is already a full number, you don’t have to round it up. Just make sure you get the curtains with this width.

You can vary the width of the curtains using the formula above to get standard fullness (x2), deluxe fullness (x2.5), or ultra fullness (x3).

How wide should curtains be for 100 inch windows?

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For a 100 inch window, we again use the same formula, and that means you’ll need curtains that are at least twice wider than your curtains. And that means you’d need 200 inches (100-inch x 2) curtains.

Since this number is already a full number, you don’t have to round it up. Just make sure you get the curtains with this width.

You can vary the width of the curtains using the formula above to get standard fullness (x2), deluxe fullness (x2.5), or ultra fullness (x3).

Measuring width for pleated curtains

If you’ve ever come across pleated curtains, then you’d know they have fullness built-in. And you have to put this into consideration when determining the width of pleated curtains to use in your home.

Pleated curtains work best informal or traditional decorating styles. If you decide to go for this type of curtains, you can’t use the curtain width rule above (twice or thrice the width of your windows) because of the built-in fullness of pleated curtains.

So what should you do? We’ll tell you.

With pleated curtains, you’ll need to buy curtains that are exactly the size of your curtains while factoring in overlaps to the left and right panels when the curtains are closed.

So for 72 inch windows, the length of pleated curtains you’ll use will be 72 inches + 12 inches (which will be enough to cover the overlap) = 84 inches. So you’ll need 84 inch wide curtains for 72 inch windows.

The same formula applies to 60 inch and 100 inch windows. For 60 inch windows, you’ll need pleated curtains that are 72 inches wide (60 inches + 12 inches) while 112 inch wide curtains will be enough for 100 inches wide windows.

Putting the length of your curtains into consideration

The length of your curtains is as important as the width as both work together to create the look you want.

We’ve talked about how long curtains should be in our article – should curtains be longer than windows?

However, we’ll be giving you a summary here.

The overall length of your curtain depends on the theme you are looking for. Some designs require the curtains to slightly touch or kiss the floor, while others require your curtains to stop an inch or less from the floor.

Your curtains can also puddle or pool on the floor for a more dramatic look.

Before you decide on the length of your curtains, you have to first determine how high you intend to hang them, as this will determine what their overall length will be.

Hanging curtains high above the window frame will make your windows look grander and your room bigger.

What else should you know?

1.   Press or steam your curtain

We’ll keep talking about how you should press or steam your curtains like a broken record. It’s common to see people just hanging their curtains out of the package. However, you shouldn’t do that since you know better than them.

Inspect your curtains after buying them for wrinkles, which will most likely be present. There is a common misconception that wrinkles will straighten out after some time.

This isn’t true. Iron your curtains and if you can’t do it yourself, give them to any laundry or ironing services around you.

2.   Tension rods can come in handy

While the good ol’ curtain rods are more durable and stylish than tension rods, sometimes opt for tension rods.

This could be because you aren’t keen on making holes in your wall, or you have a plastered wall. In any of these situations, tension rods can come in handy.

3.   Hanging high is always good

Yes, it’s always a good thing to hang your curtains very high, especially if your room is or feels small.

Hanging curtains closer to the ceiling creates the illusion of more ceiling height and makes your room look bigger.

Check out our article on whether curtains can make a room bigger or smaller.

4.   Go for fabrics that compliment the vibe of the space

It’s an open secret you can use curtains to create any theme you desire.

Some fabrics like linen can help create a casual and relaxed atmosphere by letting more light into your space and are perfect for living rooms.

Heavier fabrics like velvets are more suitable for areas that require privacy since they block light more than sheer fabrics.

Also, heavier fabrics are preferred in areas with predominantly cold weather as they can help block some of those pesky drafts.

5.   Always order fabric samples

Pictures don’t always tell the whole story, and if you are buying curtains online, it’s advisable you order fabric samples.

This allows you to determine the feel and fullness of the curtains before buying them.

Many online curtain stores take orders of fabric samples, and you should always take advantage of this.